Edmonton MP charged with refusing breath sample won't get police radio calls

EDMONTON – An Edmonton MP won’t be getting access to all police radio communications on the night he was arrested for refusing to provide a breath sample.

Judge Larry Anderson ruled there was no evidence to suggest that the large volume of calls that night had anything to do with the case against Peter Goldring.

Goldring had been seeking a list of all radio calls made the night he was arrested as well as recordings or transcripts of them. Anderson agreed that information could be relevant, but ruled there was no reason to believe it was.

“The testimony of the officer listening to the communication was that, with one exception, none of the 200-plus communications have anything to do with this investigation,” said Anderson.

“It has been submitted by the defence that the officer made a mistake. But for me to find that, I would have to speculate.”

However, the Crown has agreed to look for other police records that Goldring has requested. Defence lawyer Dino Bottos said the Crown will search for reports from the police shift supervisor that night to his superior officer as well as notes transmitted in the internal police computer system.

The police shift supervisor has acknowledged the arrest was handled differently from others in that within an hour he had phoned his supervisors to give them a heads-up that a high-profile person had been charged.

The 15-year MP for Edmonton-East is to go on trial in January on a charge of refusing to provide a breathalyzer sample after he was stopped leaving the parking lot of a north end sports bar last December.

Goldring was re-elected most recently as a Conservative but has sat as an Independent since shortly after his arrest.

He has suggested his defence will include the assertion that police unfairly targeted him and his vehicle to be pulled over during a Checkstop crackdown.

Goldring has long been a critic of random breathalyzers and Checkstops. He says he supports cracking down on drinking and driving, but he believes that random checks with no reasonable grounds for search infringe on civil liberties.

Officers have told the court Goldring was acting in a belligerent manner and tried to negotiate his way out of stop.

None of those allegations have been proven at trial and Goldring’s lawyer says he plans to file a Charter of Rights challenge to the arrest on Friday.

His trial has been scheduled for Jan. 17.

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